Did you know that it will again soon?
Of course we don't refer to the mentally handicapped ... er, mentally deficient ... er, those with intellectual capacity challenges as being lunatics anymore. We refer to them as ... well, God only knows what the politically correct term for those who are nuts is.
But in 1828 they were called lunatics.
And in that year the Western Lunatic Asylum opened its doors.
It soon it came to look like this:
And what a breathtakingly imposing facility it was.
Today, unfortunately, the asylum, now abandoned, looks like this:
If you've never seen this massive complex of buildings (which sits just to the west of I-81 and east of the Wal-Mart Super Center on Richmond Avenue), you've missed something. It was - and is - a beautiful example of American architecture at its best.
And such a waste it is.
For wasting away it is.
Va plans new psychiatric hospitalSo. We're building a new lunatic asylum. In that same Staunton. At a cost of $125 million.
Staunton, Va. (AP) -- Gov. Tim Kaine will be on hand for the groundbreaking on a new psychiatric hospital that continues a long Virginia tradition.
A new $125 million, 246-bed Western State Hospital is being built in Staunton by a Fairfax construction firm.
The new facility is slated to open in 2013. [link]
What's wrong with the old one, one might ask?
I'll venture a guess and say it's too run-down to house guests adequately.
So we're going to spend $125 million on a brand-spanking new facility.
I think I know who the first attendees should be.